2016 in review

Quick stats:

Total race: 24

  • Running: 4 (3 trail, 1 road)
  • Biking: 11 (7 gravel, 4 MTB)
  • Adventure races: 4 (one 30 hr, one 24 hr, one 18 hr, one 8 hr)
  • Orienteering: 6
  • Volunteering: 3
  • DNF: 1

Miles on bike: 3,442 (2,594 gravel, 848 MTB)
Miles on foot: 449 (145 road, 57 trail, 47 orienteering, 73 trekking/hiking, 75 walking)

Most miles in a month: bike - 402 (March), run - 58 (January)
Fewest miles in a month: bike - 145 (December), run - 10 (June)

Longest ride: 152 miles at Spotted Horse
Longest run: 13.1 miles at Frozen Feet

Bike centuries: 11

Nights camping: 19 (6 tent, 13 camper)

Coldest race weather: Frozen Feet had snow on the ground, but nothing horribly cold this year.
Hottest race weather: 100's in South Dakota for Gold Rush

Repeat races: Little Woods, Frozen Feet, Rocheport Roubaix, Tour of Hermann, Broemmelsiek MTB race, Cedar Cross, Hairy Hundred, Creve Coeur Heartbreaker, Thunder Rolls, BT Epic, Castlewood 8-hour, Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Race

New to me races: Land Run, Gold Rush Motherlode, Leadbelt MTB race, No Sleep - Shawnee, Spotted Horse Gravel Grinder

States I raced in: Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa


January: 13:40 biking, 5:53 mountain biking, 2:26 orienteering, 6:14 running, 2:38 strength, 4:44 trail running, 3:08 trekking

With both the Little Woods Last Man Standing run and the Frozen Feet half marathon falling at the beginning of the year, I did more running in January than any other month of the year, but I still spent way more time on my bike.

First real snow of the winter and we got to run in it! Totally worth the couple miles of rain we had first. #trailrunning #running
Snowy trail run with Chuck
Awesome day on Missouri's Berryman Trail with friends. Winter temps mean mostly frozen trails and great riding weather as long as you kept moving. #mtb #singletrack #mountainbiking #berrymantrail #tothelimit #cyclingstateofmind #marktwainnatlforest
Mountain bikes on the Berryman Trail
Riding bikes in the snow is like being a beginner all over again. Definitely reminds all over again you about shifting and looking where you want to go. So much fun. Perfect snow for riding bikes, and the trails are in awesome shape! #mtb #snowday #gorctr
Snowy mountain bike ride
Following up yesterday's half marathon with a half-snowy, half-slushy 40 mile gravel ride. Thank goodness I'm not feeling post-race soreness (yet! That'll probably kick in tomorrow) because today's challenging surfaces wiped me out. #tothelimit #training
Regretting my choice of bike on a snowy Katy Trail
Midway through Saturday's Frozen Feet half marathon and loving the snowy scenery. My first half since last January and one of my slowest, but the running fitness (and enjoyment) is coming back. #running #halfmarathon #frozenfeet
Feeling surprisingly good at the Frozen Feet half marathon

February: 24:56 bike, 3:20 orienteering, 3:26 running, 2:36 strength training, 5:46 trekking

Rocheport Roubaix was my only event of the month. Between outdoor rides and time on the trainer, I had a decent training base but opted for the middle distance (50 miles) on the argument that it was too early in the year to suffer. I felt great that day. Chuck and I rode an overall relaxed pace, but with his encouragement I hit the timed hill climb pretty hard and ended up placing first on that segment for women.  Otherwise, with plans of an eventual Grand Canyon hike percolating, Jeff, Jacob, and I did some weekly hikes, including a trip to Giant City State Park.

Surprised and delighted to have won the hill climb.
The guys at Giant City
March: 30:31 bike, 5:09 mountain bike, 2:39 run, 2:13 strength, :41 walk

March's main event was Land Run, a very muddy 107 mile gravel race in Oklahoma. Mickey used his last-minute entry (thanks, Matt!), to pace/drag me to a strong finish. I ended up 2nd in my age group and 9th overall solo female. It's pretty rare for me to have a podium finish that's not by default, so that was an exciting day. I also made two trips to the Steelville, MO, area for the Death by Gravel ride. The first trip was thwarted by my over-optimistic dressing for the never-materializing highs forecast and my failure to prepare for the 3 hours of thick, wet snow we got. I went back the next weekend and finished the ride in much better conditions.

Mud-splattered at Land Run
2nd place!
DBG attempt
Death by Gravel attempt 1, ended at 38 miles
Death by Gravel, take 2. Success! 90 miles, 8000 feet of climbing, and a good day of gravel training. #tothelimit #bikes #momentumracing #CedarCrosstraining
DBG take 2, finished!
April: 26:27 bike, 6:46 MTB, 8:20 orienteering, 1:00 running, 2:43 strength, 1:55 trail running, 4:20 walking

April was another bike-heavy month, but it started out with a bike-less weekend volunteering at Adventure Camp, where I was talked into doing the zip line for the first time. Next up was Tour of Hermann, where I still haven't managed to complete all legs of the back-to-back 100 mile days. This year once again I managed all but the last 50-mile leg. Later in the month I raced the marathon (3 hour) division of the Broemmelsiek Challenge and finished out the month with a solo century while many of my bike friends were racing a brutal 150-miler in Southern Missouri.

Not entirely excited about the zip line
On the way down

Tour of Hermann 2016
Tour of Hermann, day 1
Tour of Hermann 2016
Less happy on day 2 of Tour of Hermann
Killing time on the solo century by taking selfies

May: 22:16 bike, 7:10 MTB, :28 run, :15 strength, 3:16 walk

The month started with Cedar Cross, where I made all of the pacing/nutrition mistakes possible, which only compounded the challenge of the first hot ride of the year. It was not a good day on the bike, but only my ego sustained damage. A few days later, when I somehow managed to tweak my hamstring while sitting in a chair at work; I spent the next two weeks mostly resting, occasionally riding and then paying for it the next day, and constantly stressing about it. Thankfully, by Hairy Hundred it seemed to have resolved itself, and I had a very enjoyable day on bikes with Jim and Eric. In between races, we fit in a family camping trip/shakedown run since our camper hadn't been used in the past two years.

Sitting on the road at Cedar Cross with no interest in getting up.
Marquette park camping
Happy to be camping again!
Marquette park camping
Marquette Park overlook with Jacob
June: 15:07 bike, 13:03 mountain bike, 1:26 run, :40 trail run, 3:35 trekking

We left for South Dakota the second week of June, combining a family vacation with my goal race of the year, the 210-mile Motherlode. Race day temperatures were nearly 30 degrees higher than normal, and I wilted in the heat, missing the time cutoff for the first checkpoint. After cooling down, I slightly salvaged my day by riding back and ending the day with 110 miles, but it was a big disappointment. We spent the next week visiting cool places. Later that month Nathan came home on leave from Japan, the first time we'd seen him in over a year, and I finished up June by placing first in the beginner division at the Creve Coeur Heartbreaker.

Taking ALL THE STUFF on vacation
Gorgeous Motherlode scenery
The women's field at Motherlode
Photobombing Mt. Rushmore
Mickelson Trail
Getting a taste of the Mickelson Trail
Badlands NP
Hiking in the Badlands
Harney Peak
Near the top of Harney Peak
#winning CCLP
Podium at Creve Coeur
July: 15:16 bike, 20:44 MTB, 1:26 running, :40 trail running, 3:35 trekking, 1:21 walking

July was apparently the month to do all the things. We started out the holiday weekend in Hannibal, MO, playing mud volleyball (Jeff's family tradition for the past 30 years). Also up that month were a gravel century with Eric, a road 5k to support the Joshua's Great Things Foundation, marathon division of the Leadbelt MTB race, a brutal ride (or, more accurately, hike a bike) on the Karkaghne section of the Ozark Trail, and a much more fun weekend combining the Ozark Trail, camping, and the Council Bluff trail. I traveled to Kansas City to help crew for my friend Patrick's attempt to stand up paddleboard the MR340, we did a nighttime orienteering meet with some friends, and the final weekend of the month Jeff, Jacob, and I headed to Smithville Lake near Kansas City to camp, visit Chiefs training camp (them), and mountain bike (me).

Hannibal 2016
Mud volleyball
Hannibal 2016
Our "after" photo
Hawk Point
Century interrupted by small-town parade
Crossing Bee Fork
Kaw Point at the start of the MR340
CB/Bass OT weekend
Council Bluff trail/lake
Smithville Lake
Smithville lake trails
Smithville Lake
Campfire time

August: 22:08 biking, 14:01 MTB, 4;04 paddling, 1:33 running, 1:00 strength, :32 trail running, 10:03 trekking, 12:07 walking

August started with another gravel century, this one with Mickey. Next up was a trip on the Courtois Section of the OT (and another river fording). Finally, towards the end of the month Chuck and I did our first AR of the year, the Thunder Rolls 24 hour, placing second in our division.

Gorgeous day for gravel
Hazel Creek to Berryman campground and back
Bike carrying skills come in handy
Putting in for the Thunder Rolls paddle leg
2nd place

September: 20:10 biking, 13:15 mountain biking, 1:00 orienteering, 2:50 paddling, 2:16 running, :40 strength, 1:28 trail running, 13:39 trekking, :48 walking

Chuck and I did two ARs in September: the No Sleep 30 hour in the Shawnee National Forest and the Berryman 18 hour near Rolla MO. We placed first in our division in both races, though we only had competition at Berryman. Between races I managed to sneak in a trip to the Middlefork section of the OT.

Chuck climbing for a CP in the Shawnee
Me rappelling down
First place (out of one team). Honestly, the biggest prize was all the cool stuff we got to see.
Lots of water in the creeks on Middlefork
Individual kayaks for the Berryman paddle leg.

October: 14:39 biking, 18:33 mountain biking, 1;30 orienteering, 2:39 running, 2:00 strength, 2:06 walking

I met friends in the middle of their OT bikepacking trip, doing a day ride as they finished up the second leg of their bikepack. Being the only rider without a heavily loaded bike gave me a little taste of what it's like to be towards the front of a group instead of my normal place at the back. I liked it. We made another OT trip to preride part of the BT Epic course, and the following weekend we raced BT Epic, where I had a much better day than last year and felt so good that I hit an orienteering meet on my way home. I ended October with a trip to Iowa for inaugural Spotted Horse Gravel Grinder, riding a slow but scenic 150 miles.

Derrick and Chuck at a regroup
OT/Bass/Berryman 2016
Finishing out the Three Sisters on the way back to Bass.
Mandatory MMR picture
With Spotted Horse RD Sarah Cooper

November: 10:49 biking, 18:03 mountain biking, 5:04 orienteering, :31 running, :50 strength, :45 trail running, 4:49 walking

After a very busy few months, a race-less November was both a nice break and kind of weird. I stayed busy, though. A big group of us rode from the St. Charles area to Hermann for lunch; at 85 miles, I had the shortest round trip but wasn't sad at all to be finished. Mickey and I rode some gravel miles around Busch Wildlife, and Mickey, Chuck, and I did some mountain biking around the Castlewood Park area. I also fell far short of my intention to ride 100 miles of nowhere on trails, managing 32 on a 1-mile loop and another 18 or so on a 2-mile loop. It turns out the sheer stupidity of an idea isn't always enough to keep me committed. November also featured two orienteering meets.

BW/LV/KT ramble
Gravel ramble
Long way to lunch v.4
Big group heading to lunch
CW, Zombie, BV
Mountain biking

December: 12:15 biking, 3:19 mountain biking, 1:43 orienteering, 1:26 paddling, 1:46 running, 2:45 strength, 2:15 trail running, 1:30 trekking, 1:49 walking, 5:44 yoga

I raced the Castlewood 8-Hour on a team with Mickey, Brenden, and Renee. Mickey talked me into doing the navigation for the trekking leg, though I think it's more accurate to say that WE did the navigation. Despite having pretty paltry running numbers, I finished Pere Marquette the following weekend with a time only a couple minutes off my PR. Since the end of my race season, I've worked on getting in more consistent workouts, both on the trainer and in the gym, and started doing at least 10 minutes of yoga each night. I had two weeks off for Christmas; a combination of family commitments and laziness kept me from maximizing my training time while off work, but Jeff, Jacob, and I finished up the year with a New Year's Eve orienteering meet. Any day I get willing family participation in one of my interests is a win in my book!

Type II Fun before Castlewood
Starting the trekking leg
Team Virtus post-race picture
Trying not to die at the end of Pere Marquette
Post orienteering meet family picture

Things aren't perfect, but overall life is good. My family is healthy, my job is good, my friends are awesome, my bills are being paid, and my new bike fund is (slowly) growing. I have more to be grateful for than to complain about, so I'll appreciate that as I look forward to more adventures in the new year.


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